Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Collecting ideas…

2nd August 2012

The weekend before last saw me head to the Howgill Fells for an out and back trot from Sedbergh to The Calf. While the sky clouded over during my walk and there was an unintended deviation towards the end of the return leg, it remained an enjoyable affair with my having traversed no fewer than five hilltops along the way. The first was Arant Haw with Calders, The Calf, Bram Rigg Top and Winders all following in succession and Calders being crossed twice. Much of it was on access land too so it didn’t matter much if I veered away from rights of way and, in fact, much of my course deliberately took advantage of this.

After getting in at least an outing a month since May, I would like to continue the pattern. Over the last few weeks, I have been dredging a few from previous outings that I made in the last few years. In its own, that visit from to the Howgills was born of this strand of thinking but there are others. A return to Ingleton for a circular hike featuring Twisleton Scars and Ingleborough with some sunshine and blue skies is but one of these others. Revisiting Teesdale is another and it took the world of Twitter to remind me of that part of England. My sole visit to the dale so far also happened on an overcast day so getting a day with better lighting and more interesting skies would be good too; that would make photographic endeavour all the more appealing. After all, someone has a very appealing image on their Pinterest site and I wouldn’t mind having my own photos of Low Force (and High Force too) in similar conditions as well. The passage of the Pennine Way along there brings to mind the idea of exploring High Cup Nick near Dufton on the western side of the North Pennines. Again, there only has been a single outing in the Eden Valley so far and I’d like to complement it with another. The weather was good that day though travel issues curtailed the time that I had available, hence why I’d like to go back again.

There should be enough to be pondering from the above by catching up with a few issues of TGO while on a trip to Ireland added to them. They brought to my attention possible crossings of Lingmoor Fell in the Lake District and Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste near Glencoe, both of which making use of roaming rights that we now have. The latter traverse reminds to me that having a few Scottish trip ideas would be handy and I was reminded of my pondering ascents either of Bynack More in the Cairngorms or a tempting Munro near Blair Atholl. Re-walking the West Highland Way between Bridge of Orchy and Kinlochleven was yet another. One new inspiration had caused me to recall older ones.

Maybe, I need to collate the various brainwaves in a permanent if ever changing list somewhere so that I can inspect them in moments when nothing particularly can be extricated from my imagination like during the latter half of 2010. Long standing Welsh ideas like walking Ysgyryd Fawr near Abergavenny or returning to Pembrokeshire (featured in the current issue of Discover Britain, as it happens) would belong on there too. Maybe I need to re-read these prospective pieces more often than I do.

As it has turned out for me, the ideas that I have been using so far this year have treated me well and all the inconvenient weather that has come our way doesn’t seem to have stalled my hill wandering greatly at all. Now, I need to sit down and write about a few of them in place of thinking about possible new excursions, good though that is. The coming weekend looks not too promising for an outdoors excursion so that may be a chance. That’s not to say that other matters may not intrude though…

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